DAVID SMITH - Friday, November 20, 2009
Benny Feilhaber and a pair of his foes from Wednesday night's friendly will once again join forces to try to send Aarhus past Aalborg while Michael Parkhurst and Nordsjælland will be looking for three points in Køge.
HB Køge - FC Nordsjælland
Michael Parkhurst will likely get the starting nod in Nordsjælland's defense on Saturday as they look to pick up their second straight win when they make the short drive to Køge's SEAS-NVE Park.
The Wild Tigers had built a small bit of momentum heading into the recent international break in winning three from their previous four games across league and cup competitions, and should be able to extend their run against relegation-bound Køge.
Parkhurst seems to have earned his way back into coach Morgen Weighorst's favor, after a short spell on the sidelines, but will likely slot into the right back position for the second game in a row in place of the injured Henrik Kildentoft.
Køge already look resigned to relegation with less than half of the season done, having won only once in 15 tries and currently seven points from safety.
The cause of Lithuanian coach Aurelijus Skarbalius will not be helped by the loss of the team's leading forward Emmanuel Ake, for the rest of the season, as the Kenyan suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in international play against Nigeria.
Aalborg BK - AGF Aarhus
Benny Feilhaber and Jeremiah White are both expected to take the field for Aarhus as they face a tricky journey north to face Marcus Tracy and Aalborg on Monday.
The game will see Feilhaber return to the side of Aarhus teammates Michael Lumb and Jakob Poulsen after all three players went the full 90 minutes on Wednesday in the international friendly between Denmark and the USA.
While his Danish teammates have earned bragging rights through the team's impressive 3-1 win, they will need to dig down together to try to recapture some of their early-season magic to try to break their four-game run without a win.
Aalborg have fared little better over recent weeks, with the one glaring exception being their 1-0 win over Copenhagen immediately preceding the break, one in which Tracy's goal was the difference.
They will hope the victory signaled a turning point in their season as it broke a six-game streak without a win in the league, but they will need to be careful if they hope to maintain or extend their slight one-point advantage in the standings over their visitors.
Aarhus coach Erik Rassmussen continues to be without defenders Mark Howard and Ulrik Lindkvist as well as midfield Miels Kristensen, who are all recovering from long-term injuries.
Aalborg's skipper Magnus Pehrsson will be missing several players, as Thomas Gaardsøe is not yet ready to return from his knee injury, Michael Jakobsen is just beginning light training and Kjetil Wæhler will miss another week with a groin injury.
In addition, Dennis Marshall will continue to sit out after re-irritating a groin injury, and the forward duo of Ronnie Schwartz and Daniel Fredheim Holm will also be sidelined, likely meaning that Tracy will figure into the game.
Danny Califf is not expected to be part of the squad when Midtjylland host second-place Esbjerg on Saturday afternoon.